Sex, Love, and Lots of Questions

Kacie Rogers, Amielynn Abellera, Stefanie Black, and Adrian Gonzalez in ARROWHEAD - Photo by Jeff Lorch
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IAMA Theatre Company continues its ‘Sweet 16” season of world premieres by Los Angeles-based playwrights with ARROWHEAD, a new comedy by Catya McMullen. ARROWHEAD was commissioned by IAMA and workshopped in 2022. The current production is the company’s second full production of an IAMA commissioned play. To quote the author, “ARROWHEAD is my love letter to queerness. It’s a dialectic, a series of landmines; sometimes deeply controversial views told with empathy (hopefully). I’ve always found my own queerness exists in a bit of a holy trinity: what I want sexually, my identity, and my community…my hope is that it will resonate with people of all sexual orientations – that almost everyone can walk into the theater and find at least some small part of themselves reflected in the characters and perspectives…and laugh.”

Adrian Gonzalez and Nate Smith – Photo by Jeff Lorch

Gen (Amielynn Abellera) is a happy, reasonably well-adjusted lesbian living with Lily (Kathleen Littlefield), her charming, cat-lover girlfriend. Then the unexpected happens: Gen is pregnant. It must have been that one-night stand from the party. Gen is forced to face a life-changing question: what do you do when what you want sexually collides with your feminism, your identity, and your community? Gen decides to end the pregnancy as quickly as possible – so she assembles a group of friends, both gay and straight, for a “lake party.” Pals Stacy (Stefanie Black), Cam (Lindsay Coryne), and Maggie (Kacie Rogers) are there to help her get through this mess. It just so happens that Brody (Adrian Gonzalez) and his buddy Levi (Nate Smith) end up becoming unexpected visitors. And fireworks may soon decorate this little sojourn with nature.

Amielynn Abellera, Stefanie Black, Kacie Rogers, Adrian Gonzalez, and Nate Smith – Photo by Jeff Lorch

Director Jenna Worsham does a compassionate and capable job of helming ARROWHEAD and delving into the many questions which the convoluted play presents. The ensemble cast works hard to bring the emotional turmoil inherent in many of these topics to the surface. Worsham notes that “this is a play of landmines around gender and gender roles…but, above all, it’s a comedy. The audience is going to laugh its way into a deeper conversation.” At times, the play meanders and seems to lose focus, but the audience is always left appreciating the good intentions of the author. Perhaps so many complex matters deserve a series of plays, rather than only one which recounts material from each of the large cast.

Amielynn Abellera, Adrian Gonzalez, Kacie Rogers, Lindsay Coryne, and Nate Smith – Photo by Jeff Lorch

ARROWHEAD will appeal to audiences who are themselves struggling with the issues examined in the play. It should also appeal to individuals who have found that love – especially for the “wrong” person – can present a rocky shore with lots of pitfalls.  This is definitely a thought-provoking tale which seems geared to spark considerable conversation after the curtain falls.

Amielynn Abellera, Lindsay Coryn, Kacie Rogers, and Stefanie Black – Photo by Jeff Lorch

ARROWHEAD runs through March 4, 2024, with performances at 8 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and Mondays and at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Sundays. Atwater Village Theatre is located at 3269 Casitas Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90039. Tickets are $40 (Pay-What-You-Can on 2/19/24 and 2/26/24). For information and reservations, call 323-380-8843 or go online.

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